Monday, August 30, 2010

back to school

So...the truth.

I've been dreading the start of school the last few weeks...well months actually. Even though normal human beings pull it off every day I felt so overwhelmed by what lay on my plate--full time school, full time internship, part time work, and a 4-day-a-week commute from Salt Lake to Provo with that oh-so-lovely I-15 construction. YIKES!!! I'm not as tough or nearly as capable as I pretend to be and the truth is...I think the universe thinks so too. Today it tried, time and again, to make that clear.

I woke up (very early in terms of Chelsey-time) so I could be 100% ready to face my day AND be to work on time (what a concept?!).

First stop--shower. My sign--it broke. Parker leans in the door and hollers, "It fell apart right at the tail-end of my shower. Sorry babe!" Oh and the best part, "And I'm guessing someone is showering upstairs because there's no hot water either." Great. With bleary eyes I crawl inside and endure...refusing to even try to shave my legs while I try to hold the hose of a shower in place.

It's ok though, I remind myself. I woke up before the sun so I could afford setbacks like this.

Next stop--printer. I try to print my syllabus for my class. Not working. Hmm...what to do? So I jiggle and jimmy and spend a good 10 minutes before noticing the great chasm between the said cord and my USB port. Lovely move Chelly-belly...good thing you have all this time to spare! Silly girl.

And then I move to the bathroom. Everything runs can't be! Then I put on the dress. The brand new adorable dress from Macy's that I'd saved for this special occasion. I slither into it and prance over to the mirror to confirm, once more, why I love it so. Then I see it. Like a big 'ol piece of spinach in your Aunt June's tooth. The sensor...

Being the impatient soul that I am, I decide to attempt to pry it off. I realize, just as I'm about to start, that it's an inker--meant to release ink and destroy the garment for any unworthy owner a.k.a. shoplifter. So, feeling like a common criminal, I assure myself the warning is just a hoax and continue to chip away at the hunk of plastic.

Yellow and blue ink start to spew like a first-trimester pregger across the fabric of my sweet little dress. I rush to the sink and run it under the water trying to rinse the evidence away, destroying one of our white towels in the process. I look at the clock and know there's no time left to give to this hopeless task. Instead of changing though I vow to find something to pry the sucker off at work. Wishful thinking right?

With zero make-up, I huck a mish-mash of papers in my ghastly orange (just because it's GAP doesn't mean it's cool babe) loaner backpack and head out the door...into a torrential downpour. I had NO IDEA, and ran back inside to grab a coat and take cover.

I'm late to work at this point and, of course, somehow managed to grab the one black coat I own that does not have a hood. Ignoring the irony of the situation and the time I invested into drying and perfectly straightening my hair, I proceed out into the cold...and step in a puddle.

Sweet. By the time I get to the bank I'm so flustered I mess up the vault code at least three times and barely make it to my drive-thru window by 8:30. It was a mess!!! I called Parker on my way to school and relayed the events of the morning insisting it all must mean something. And he, the good husband that he is, chose not to sympathize. Instead, he assured me things would get better, reminded me to enjoy my very last first day of school, and told me how much he loved me.

Turns out...he really is a keeper...and, as much as it pains me to say it, he's nearly always right. My day did improve. I went to class and remembered so many of the reasons why I love my major. I saw and visited with friends right and left on campus and marveled at how many people I've come to know over the last 3 years. I found a way to keep my scholarship AND avoid taking classes I don't need. I chatted away as I visited one of my very best friends in her new town house. And I got a cocoa-white chocolate chip cookie from Subway. how could I not be happy?

back to school. back to school. to prove to dad that I'm not a fool. :) keep a good thought...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the matchmaker

can anyone tell me why it is so absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to find a picture of a tin foil dinner that doesn't look like it's making its second appearance??? my goodness!
Last year's brothers' trip...I don't think anyone documented this year's adventures. Thanks Kristy for this one!
anyway, that's beside the point. I just wanted to give a quick blip on our weekend. This Saturday Parker and his four brothers headed up to Deer Valley Resort for their annual "brother's biking trip." My plans for the day were swept away with the wind which gave me plenty of time to run errands and try and gear up for the coming school year. It felt so great to be so productive and definitely made me less anxious about the crazy 4 months ahead of us.
My sexy husband. I just love him!!! If he stays this cute forever he can bike all he wants :)
When Parker got home he apologized for being gone all day. He felt bad for having so much fun while I stayed at home. It was a sweet thought, but more than anything, it made me laugh. I do understand why some wives might be resentful toward husbands who take off every single weekend, but to be honest, Parker and I are rarely apart. More importantly though, I'm happy he takes these trips. I think it's so amazing that all five of the DeMille boys can connect this way. Parker's taught me so much about family and demonstrated to me, time and again, that they really are and can be your closest friends. I've always loved my family to pieces and enjoyed their company, but I really do believe I've come to value them and their friendships more in the time that I've been with Parker.
Is this Deer Valley? I have no idea...I'm just haphazardly stealing biking pics off Parker's hard drive now. Wherever it is it's pretty!
So yes...I may eat these words someday, but I love that Parker and his brothers make it a point to spend this time together. The "big brother" incident on the trail was so classic too. Nobody messes with a DeMille. And, if they do, you can guarantee there will be four brothers on their tail ready to make them eat their words...and their dust. They're speedy little things on those bikes. JJJ
While Parker biked, I chopped...and chopped...and chopped. The prep for the tin foil dinners was definitely a test of my domestic skills. Good news though...I think I passed! The dinners were a very yummy start to a super fun date night.

I'd decided to set my good friends the Browns up with a couple of my in-laws. I'd like to say I did this out of sheer selflessness, but if we're being honest, I had a few selfish motives. My friend Kory Brown just came home off a mission from Chile last week. The Browns are some of our closest family friends (we have record of Kory pushing my baby stroller when were still in diapers) and I'd been dying for a way to spend some time with him and his sister Mindy. So...I got creative. Why not spend a Saturday night with five of your very favorite people???? AND, in the process, uncover a way to possibly see them even more???
I swear I was a cuter kid than this...isn't Bubba cute though???
And he stayed cute! Any interested/single girls in Provo? He's a keeper!
I'll admit. I hate setting people up. I worry enough about what people think of me, and I feel like when I try and play matchmaker, I leave my fate in the hands of those who I've set up. If one or the other thinks I picked a real crazy/goob for them, they will question both my judgment and my taste and/or lose faith in me completely for future set-ups. BUT...then there's the what if. What if they totally hit it off? What if I become responsible for this future family and play such a vital role that they have to name their first child after me (boy or girl)? What if? It's so tempting. And thus you see the conundrum of the matchmaker. To match, or not to match. That is the question right?

I usually err on the side of not matching. It seems too risky. But there are a few instances where it's worked—quite well in fact! My friends Michael & Kayla tied the knot in June and are the happiest little lovebirds you've ever seen. All thanks to a certain someone (I realize a lot more goes into this than the seed I planted...just humor me).

I'm not sure why I strayed so far off the beaten path with that one, because it really has nothing to do with last night. I didn't go in thinking anyone would come out soul mates. Heck, I don't even know if they even liked each other! But I did know, and I do know, that we had fun. When I pick friends, I pick well, and when you throw that many cool people into the pot you can't help but end with a super sweet stew!

Despite hurricane Mitch (Mike's weather reference) and a so-so movie, I had so much fun having so many of the people I love together. It renewed my faith in the matchmaking process too...not every blind date/first date is awkward and, despite what those in Provo may think, every date you go on doesn't have to be an interview for eternity. It's ok to just have fun. And we did! Non-traditional tin foil dinners (the oriental chicken was SO good!), tropical flavored starbursts, and pillow-sized marshmallows for S'mores made for a great night, with great company. Happy Saturday to me!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I tried not to binge read and failed...miserably.

But that's ok! It's over. No more distractions. I can head into Fall semester with a clear head and zero musings about this fictional universe.

Well, that's what I thought. Instead, when I finished, I felt a little unsettled. Kind of like I did when I finished HP7. It just seemed so abrupt. I felt like there was next to no resolution. And, while I found the "real or not real" final line very clever, I still thought the epilogue was kind of depressing. I don't know...maybe I'm crazy...and I feel silly for even posting about it...but. I've been wondering. What did everyone else think?

p.s. I understand the effects of trauma, but Katniss bugged me this go-around with all her "recoveries." real or not real?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

powell power

Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!?!

I used to be a little put off whenever I heard people rave about Lake Powell. I’m a Shasta girl at heart and when I moved to Utah I felt like that was all I ever heard. “Lake Powell this. Lake Powell that. Have you ever been? That’s not where you houseboat? Oh…poor girl. You’re missing out.” Everyone I talked to seemed to undermine my Shasta experiences because A. they hadn’t heard of the lake and B. because they hadn’t there was no way it could compare. Well, I decided to develop a few ignorant biases of my own and, before I knew it, I’d subconsciously decided Lake Powell was overrated.

Well, just over a year ago my boyfriend’s family decided to take me. Parker had grown up camping out by the lake and just loved the place and (because we were both in the stage where neither could do any wrong) I decided I’d just go ahead and love it too.

We had a really wonderful visit—tons of boating, lots of laughs, and an infinite number of “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” over its scenery—but outside of the good company and great vacation I’m not sure I was sold on the lake itself by day one. It seemed choppy, crowded, and (from the stories I’d heard and the overturned houseboat we passed) a little dangerous too.

BUT (and this is a big but) I do love it now. Yes, it has its moments where conditions aren’t perfect, but so does every other lake. By our second day there last year I knew I’d found a special place—a place I’d love to come back to time and again with family and friends. And, as luck would have it, that’s what we did! The great friends that gave me my first taste of Powell became family and have brought me back for Round 2.

Lara & Kirk invited us down on their annual neighborhood couples’ trip. What a fun time! First of all, I’m so impressed they all collaborate and make this happen. And second, they’re all so much fun! They laugh and tease and joke and love and cuddle and made us newbies feel so welcome. Lara & Kirk spent the few weeks leading up to the trip giving us the scoop on each and friend and it paid off. I had everyone’s name memorized about 10 minutes into the trip because their descriptions were so spot on. It really made me laugh. I’d love to hear Kirk give our bios someday…

In addition to the nonstop water activities, laughs, and sun exposure we also had another big reason to love this trip—WE CAMPED!!! for the first time this summer! in our new tent! And oh boy was it awesome!

We BBQ-ed up of the yummiest kabobs (thanks to Kristy & my dad for the marinades and Tristan for his garden-fresh veggies!!!), wakeboarded until the sun set, rub-a-dub-dubbed in the lake, took a midnight swim, and even woke to watch the sunrise. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves on the shores and a blanket of stars up above was, to me, absolutely priceless.

Me not quite ready to be up and/or face reality. I wanted to forget fall semester and stay here forever!

And another perk to camping—it earned us about 6 extra hours on the lake!—which left us lots of time to talk. I learned a lot about Lara & Kirk and their life together and hearing about it all made me so excited for the future. It’s so neat to see where they are in life right now—in a happy home with 4 adorable little boys, fresh paint, passports with stamps to the neatest places, the “tuffest” boat I’ve ever seen, and even a “dirt-bag” (it’s a joke) dog. It’s everything you’d ever imagine when you think of building a life with the person you love and I’m excited for the day when we’ll have all that—when we and our friends will be able to afford couples trips to the lake, when we’ll have stories to share about the funny thing our kid said at football practice, or when we can say we’ve seen Les Miserables in London. (I know it sounds superficial that all I’m talking about are things, but I’m just trying to paint a picture of what comes to people who live their lives well—who love their families, serve others, work for everything they receive, and stay close to the Lord through best and worst of times.) Anyway, I just started thinking about that day and wanting to be there—wanting to have it all now or at least have a sneak peek at what it will be like.

But hearing them describe their life leading up to this also made me treasure the time Parker and I have together now. This is the time to grow and learn together and take life by storm. It’s our time to decide who and what we’ll be and become the people who will raise those children, take those business risks, and stay so in love through it all. It’s our time to realize how incredibly compatible we are and how much potential we have as a couple. And it’s our time to go without for awhile so, when we do have it all, it will mean that much more.

Even though they weren’t there with us, I learned a lot from Tristan & Kristy too. Hearing Lara & Parker reminisce about their childhoods and being with them on the days before and after our trip made me love their parents even more.

Watching Tristan with his grandkids makes my heart melt, and hearing about the ways he worked to make his family vacations the best makes him that much sweeter. I can just picture him working up some creative way to tie the pedal-boat to the truck just because he knew the kids would love it. And it's equally as easy to see him convincing Kristy to buy the springy tree ornaments because he thought they were so neat-looking and knew she'd love them too. I about died when he used his headlamp to pick squash for us at midnight just so we could skip a trip to store too. Generosity is never in short supply with the DeMilles and I know Tristan is a BIG reason for it.

And Kristy—WOW! When Lara thought back on how her parents ever managed to do camp-outs with all 7 kids I realized how often I fail to realize what a feat it would be to be a mom to so many. 7 doesn’t seem like as much now that they’re grown, but one day, not long ago, they were babies and toddlers and teenagers all at the same time. She did it all and still does. She lets her children live their lives but she’s always there to play mom when they need her. She makes back-to-back trips up north to help with wedding pictures, tend kids, move furniture, deliver cookies, or do anything else you need her to. She stays up late to make potato salad because she knows you’ll want another side dish and makes her grandson’s favorite cookies just because he asked. She thinks a year ahead for Christmas (i.e. NYC) and brings home the cutest finds for each and every one of us, always making sure to never leave anyone out.

And when you say thank you, neither one lets it stick, because in their eyes their acts of generosity are simple and small and what any person would do. And I know they think, if they could, they would do so much more. But I’m not really sure what else we could ask for. It blows me away and I hope, someday, they’ll realize why we can’t ever say thank you enough. Parker and I are so grateful for them and I really, truly hope they know it.

And now that I’m done with my super-sized tangent…here are the highlights I figured no one would read long enough to see:

1. Kirk’s impression of Eminem (we thought he was impersonating a robot)

2. My impression of Sugarland sounding almost as pitiful

3. Midnight swims in birthday suits

4. More than one full moon

5. Racist jokes

6. Wakesurf crashes

7. Secret boat alterations

8. A boat that can’t reverse left

9. People’s issues with peeing in the water

10. And the reason why all the men are now scared to jump off cliffs

It was the best of times!

Monday, August 23, 2010

finding nemo

The final entry to our California adventure—hallelujah! I think I’m beginning to realize the reason all wise bloggers keep their posts short, sweet, and to the point. I babble on and on about the same thing for days, and that’s what it takes to write it all too…days and days and days.

Parker and I cruised up the coast from San Diego to Long Beach to meet up with my parents for their last few hours in town. We strolled along the pier, admired the lighthouse, found an ice cream shop (of course), and tried to make the most of the last of the time we’d have together.

It’s funny how hard it hits me every time I have to say goodbye to my family. The gap between now and Christmas isn’t long and I’ve done it a million times, but it still makes me sad to be so far for so long. But, what can you do? Let’s just hope this semester flies by…

We snapped a few last pics in front of the Queen Mary, hugged goodbye and sent them on their way before heading over to the aquarium. My family took a trip there on Wednesday as we’d made our way into town and insisted they treat us to a visit as well. As if they hadn’t done enough for us that week!

Parker’s always said something he admires most about my dad is the generosity. He’s always looking for ways to give others a bit of happiness on his dollar. He says the memories are worth so much more to him. As much as I tease him for being a giver to even the biggest of money-grubbers, it is definitely one of the reasons I love him most. I had the best childhood a daughter could ask for, and I’m not sure when his days for helping his little girl are going to end so I can finally try to return the favor. Thanks daddy dave for being so good to us always!

So yes…after the goodbyes we headed to the aquarium which is, as my family assured us, super neat! Parker had never been to an aquarium and was eager to see all the “big stuff.” We pet jellyfish, baby sharks, sea anemones, urchins, stingrays, you name it! We had to eye the bigger fish from afar, but the eels and sharks were so dang creepy I’m actually kind of glad.

I only wish the same rule didn’t apply to the sea lions and otters. Oh man they are so stinkin’ cute! My sister begged my dad to have and otter as a pet…an idea he entertained until he found out they eat 25% of their body weight every day…and I even found another Parker there who I’d be happy to snuggle up with for a night (minus the fish breath). Parker loved the fact that his seal was “kissin’ his guns” in the pic too. Funny boy…
Fun Facts:

Did you know…otters have over 1 million hairs on every square inch of their body? Every inch! Craziness…

And, did you know…there are fish that are sex

changers?! Girl fish become boy fish when certain environments or situations require it. Weird…fish are weird.

Exhausted and a little on edge from our nonstop activities, we decided to head to my brother’s place in Aliso Viejo and take the rest of the night off. We had the yummiest paninis at the Panini CafĂ© and made another pit stop at, you guessed it, Yogurtland!

We had Harry Potter to keep us company on the long ride home and it’s cute to see how, little by little, Parker is becoming a fan just like the rest of the population. J He listened to it to and from work every day this week and would ask each night whether we could have Potter time. He is just as stinkin’ cute as that seal that bears his name. Maybe even cuter…

It was hard to come back to real life. I wanted to stay and soak up the sun on the beach forever. Maybe someday that’ll be our life. ‘Til then, we’ll enjoy these vacations and treasure these memories. Thanks everyone for a killer vacation!